Wide open

The Bears' first two fifth-round picks - wide receivers <!--Default For Bobby Wade is to ignore-->Bobby Wade (No. 139) and <!--Default For Justin Gage is to ignore-->Justin Gage (143) -- could provide interesting competition at a position that is uncertain behind <!--Default NodeId For Marty Booker is 722190,2003--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:722190]>Marty Booker</A>.

Arizona's Wade could be an immediate contributor as a return specialist, but he also caught 93 passes last season for 1,389 yards. Gage, who was Missouri's sixth man in basketball as a sophomore and junior, could do more than fill the big receiver void left by Marcus Robinson's departure. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, with a 42-inch vertical Gage could contend for serious playing time soon.

"I hope Gage comes in and challenges some people," Angelo said. "Somebody had mentioned, 'Is this about Marcus Robinson?' No. I think this is about David Terrell, and I'd like to see a little competition there. I'd like to see him and David go at it a little bit, and we'll see the best man win."

Terrell was the Bears' No. 1 pick in 2001, but he caught just 9 passes in five games last season before suffering a season-ending foot fracture, and he had just 34 catches for 415 yards in a full rookie season.

Without the benefit of spring football practice while he was playing hoops, Gage still managed to catch 156 passes for 1,995 yards and 14 touchdowns in his last two seasons at Mizzou. Because of a pulled hamstring, Gage didn't run at the Scouting Combine, and he was considered about a 4.7 guy by most teams. When he ran under 4.5 in a late personal workout, the Bears were intrigued.

"He had a phenomenal workout," Angelo said. "What's not to like?"

The Bears traded two sixth-round picks and a seventh-rounder to move up to No. 143 for Gage.


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